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Thread: How to remove a helmet from an injured rider

  1. #1
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    How to remove a helmet from an injured rider

    A while ago Speedie and I talked about doing a sequence of pictures or a video showing how to safely remove a helmet from an injured rider. We never got round to it.

    Fortunately Australian Motorcycle News magazine put together the very thing in the 7 - 20 March 2007 edition. I have scanned it for you all to have a look at, but would recommend that you go out and buy this magazine so you have a good quality copy. Make sure you keep a copy of it with the first aid kit you all carry with you on your bike!!!!
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  2. #2
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    Cheers Ms Riff Raff......

  3. #3
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    good info to know, I hope i never have to use it.
    From American dad :
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  4. #4
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    I suggest leaving it to the experts...how many of you can tell a spinal injury by just looking?Just my opinion

  5. #5
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    If their airway is blocked and you can't unblock it with the helmet on they will die.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondini View Post
    I suggest leaving it to the experts...how many of you can tell a spinal injury by just looking?Just my opinion
    We had quite a good discussion about this at the First Aid course I went too last week. Main points were:
    > Don't remove the helmet unless you have to.
    > If it has to come off then it's best to get the rider to take it off if they are able.
    > If the person has stopped breathing or is vomiting then having a viable airway is more important than a possible neck injury (you can live with a neck injury but you can't without an airway)
    > An existing neck injury is just that ... existing. Possibly the damage you are worried about causing has already been done.
    Grow older but never grow up

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonbuoy View Post
    If their airway is blocked and you can't unblock it with the helmet on they will die.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oakie View Post
    We had quite a good discussion about this at the First Aid course I went too last week. Main points were:
    > Don't remove the helmet unless you have to.
    > If it has to come off then it's best to get the rider to take it off if they are able.
    > If the person has stopped breathing or is vomiting then having a viable airway is more important than a possible neck injury (you can live with a neck injury but you can't without an airway)
    > An existing neck injury is just that ... existing. Possibly the damage you are worried about causing has already been done.
    Spot on......

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakie View Post
    We had quite a good discussion about this at the First Aid course I went too last week. Main points were:
    > Don't remove the helmet unless you have to.
    > If it has to come off then it's best to get the rider to take it off if they are able.
    > If the person has stopped breathing or is vomiting then having a viable airway is more important than a possible neck injury (you can live with a neck injury but you can't without an airway)
    > An existing neck injury is just that ... existing. Possibly the damage you are worried about causing has already been done.
    Good call.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Riff Raff.

    If the rider is wearing a flip front lid, presumably it's best to leave the lid in place on their head and just flip the front up to clear the airway, start recuss, etc?

    This is assuming everything necessary can be done leaving the helmet in place but just flipping up the front.

  10. #10
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    I rasied this point at St Johns first aiders course.The reply from the experts is that you leave it up to the people in the know,the medics.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuppa View Post
    I rasied this point at St Johns first aiders course.The reply from the experts is that you leave it up to the people in the know,the medics.
    You can understand them saying that and it's a fair call when life is not at threat. However, with brain damage occuring after 4 minutes of no breathing, if it was Mrs Oakie lying on the road with her lid on and not breathing I have no doubt about what I'd do ... and it wouldn't be sitting quietly waiting for the ambos to arrive.
    I guess I'm just lucky I went to a Red Cross course instead of St John's. The Red Cross guys had no problem with us doing it with the proviso that it was only when essential to maintain an airway.
    Grow older but never grow up

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuppa View Post
    The reply from the experts is that you leave it up to the people in the know,the medics.
    Which, of course, is specifically mentioned in the attachment to the original post in this thread...
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  13. #13
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    I can imagine a situation where somebody (who has read this, or knows otherwise how to take a helmet off safely) tries to remove a helmet, but the rider gets the shits because he knows you should never take a helmet off an injured person. Would have to be careful to explain first you know what's what.

  14. #14
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    Simply put.

    If a rider is down, unconcious, and not breathing. The helmet comes off.
    If they're unconcious but breathing freely, leave it on. It's not rocket science.

    If I'm ever left to die from axphixiation (sp) because someone thought it best to leave my helmet on after a crash, I'd like that person to explain to my kids why I'm dead.
    Vote David Bain for MNZ president

  15. #15
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    Had a good mate crash beside me at 200ks when he hit a goat that ran out in front of us from the side of the road , he bounced & flipped for way to long along the road before coming to a stop in a drain on the side of the road . Ran back to where he was & knew he was knocked out by the sounds he was making but made sure he was breathing correctly by undoing the chin strap but left the helmet on as the chances of neck damage was very high from see him flipping through the air beside my bike as his bike flew to pieces on the other side of me . Helicopter arrived in around 35min & Medic said I had done the best thing leaving his helmet on . Turned out he had smashed 3 vertebra in his back & compressed 4 in his neck . Have to say it is a Big call making your mind up if you should pull a helmet off someone that has crashed . Not something I hope to have to done again .

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